The Best Road Trip Songs (According to Jamie)

Road in the desert.

Daniel and I took a few road trips together while we were back in the States. The most impressive was probably driving from Portland, Oregon to Tampa, Florida in a week with two cats in the backseat. [Read: Driving Cross Country with a Pet] As we took more road trips together, a tradition started: we’d buy a box of doughnuts and create an ultimate road trip playlist, which would then be burnt to a CD (yes, old school). 

Bloody Legend (our car) unfortunately doesn’t have a radio and there are very few (proper) doughnut shops making most of our trips in New Zealand quiet and sugar free. Okay, I lied about the latter. There are plenty of sweets. 

Driving through New Zealand has been amazing, but every great road trip needs music. There’s nothing better than singing loudly (and out of tune) to the radio while driving. It has got me thinking about those times when we’d create an ultimate playlist. What songs stuck out to me? What songs did I always request? What songs remind me of driving along the Oregon coast and across America? I’ve thought long and hard, and have chosen five songs that I believe are the best road trip songs.

[Read more...]

Driving an Old Car in New Zealand=Anxiety

Mazda Familia at a campsite in New Zealand.

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in a wonderful country. At the same time, however, I’ve been cursed with an old car to tour the said wonderful country. Okay, I shouldn’t say cursed. I chose this car (as did Daniel). But when you’re on a bit of a budget while traveling, you try and choose the cheapest options. Whether it’s accommodation, food, or attractions, you obviously want to keep the price as low as possible.

Although it’s not always the case, sometimes you really get what you pay for.

[Read more...]

What it’s Like for an American to Drive in New Zealand

American driving in New Zealand graphic.Imagine that you have flown over 13 hours to the other side of the world and are in this new, foreign land. You’re ready to explore and see everything New Zealand has to offer. You want to discover the geysers in the north and the fiords in the south.

But however will you get around?

On a tight schedule with an unlimited budget? Plane. Want to see the country in a unique setting? Train. Can sit for hours upon hours without needing a toilet nearby? Bus. Found yourself on a one-year visa with the freedom to go wherever and whenever you please? Car.

But there is one problem–they drive on the left in New Zealand.

[Read more...]

The thing I thought I’d never do in Vietnam (but ended up doing).

“There’s no way I’m getting on a motorbike in Vietnam,” I said.

A motorbike parked on a street in Vietnam.

Fast forward five days into our Vietnam trip: there I was putting on a helmet, and swinging my leg over to get on the back of a motorbike.

How did I go from saying that I’d never get on a motorbike to actually getting on one? Let me explain.

[Read more...]

My Uncontrollable Fear of Flying

Cathay Pacific Cargo Boeing 747-800F

I hate flying. I am the Scrooge of the air. Tell me I’m going to be on a flight and I’ll automatically start to mumble, “BAH HUMBUG!” while shouting nasty things at Kermit the Frog.

Everything about taking a flight is crap. Getting jostled through security, squeezing into a tiny seat with a stranger constantly elbowing you, the looks of smug satisfaction from the first class passengers when you’re forced to walk by them. The whole experience is degrading.

However all of these things pale in comparison to that one horrible thought. Whether the plane is taking off, flying high or coming in to land – it’s always there. What if. What if. WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS!?!

[Read more...]